Extracts from [Penney 1928] relating to those people who have West-Penwith connections. This book is, itself, a transcript of a ms. volume written by Dr. Thomas Lower, son-in-law to George Fox, and was near contemprary with the events related.
[Ed. The accents and other textual decorations in this document, which I have tried to replicate as closely as possible, may come out strange on some systems due to the limitations of the fonts available.]
1656 James Myers for speakeinge to preist13 Liverton after his time 14of preachinge was ended14 was sent to Goale by Anthony Nicolls called Justice where [hee] was throwne into doomsdale amongst ye felons & there continnued a prisoner for many weeks
John Ellis beeinge summoned to appeare before Peter Ceely was for nott puttinge off his hatt to P : Ceely & James Launce cal[led Justices] committed to Goale & was throwne into Doomsdale & cruelly used by ye aforesd wicked Jaylor whose sufferings [with] most of ye aforementioned sufferings may bee seene & reade att large in ye aforesd booke entituled ye West [aunsweringe to ye] North12 wherein they are more fully declared off :
[Peter Ceely was a fierce puritan, prominant parliamentarian, commander of the militia and Vice Admiral during the civil war. He was responsible for much of the damage to St. Ives Church. See Badcock’s Historical Sketch]
There was taken from John Ellis one horse by an execution graunted out of ye Court, helde in ye hundred of Penwith att ye suite of Thomas Quarum & one Richarde Whitforde whoe ƒfarmed5x ye tyth off Joseph Hull preist of Sennen
In ye harvest time there was taken from Nicholas Jose by ye officers or servants of Joseph Hull preist without sheweinge any warrant for there soe doeinge thirty nine sheaves of Rye for tyths
Hadde taken from him by Degory Wallish & Ralfe Jeffry Churchwardens soe caled 3 pewter platters & one pewter Pegger worth twelve shillings for 6s rate towards ye repaire of ye Steeplehouse Alsoe ye sd John Ellis hadd att another time taken from him by Thomas Trereeffe & Marten Williams 2 pewter platters worth six shillings ƒfor 2s 8d rate butt ye saide Thomas Trereeffe returned it againe after hee had kept it about halfe yeere & saide he was much troubled in consciens when first hee tooke them away & saide moreover hee woulde not have donne it if Peter Ceely Called Justice had not threatned him if hee did it not & farther hee did confesse ytt hee coulde not bee quiett in minde untill hee restored it againe :
John Ellis haveinge some occasions to goe unto Jues Markett91 wch is about 5 miles from his house hee mett with Peter Ceely called a Justice whoe examined him & asked him howe hee did dare to goe about 5 miles from his house & laied father to ye saide Johns Charge many false accusations & things ytt hee knew nott off neither coulde hee prove any thinge against him : yett notwithstandinge ye sd Peter Ceely togeather with ye major32 of Jues sent him to launceston goale & hee was continnued a prisoner from Sessions to Sessions & att ye thirde sessions they haveinge nought to lay to his Charge or yt coulde bee proved against him sett him at liberty :
The 23d day of ye 8th mo : 1658 John Ellis was served with a speciall warrant at ye suite of Pascoe Tresillian whoe farmed ye tyth of Joseph Hull priest of Sennen & beeinge inhumanely used by Nicholas Dever & one other bailiffe whoe tooke away his cloake & spurrs intendeinge by force to sett him one ye backe of a poore mare (wch ye owner of her saide they had taken from him without his leave) & haveinge neither sadle nor any thinge else one ye back of her they intended soe to have carried him about 40 miles to prison : butt a brother of his in ye flesh comeinge ye while & seeinge howe barbarously hee was used voluntarily engaged to satisfy to satisfy [sic] ye sd pasco Tresilian for ye tyths whereupon they sett him att liberty
In ye yeere abovesd there was taken from Nicholas Jose by a servant to pasco Tresilian whoe had farmed ye tyth of Joseph Hull preist as is aforesd thirty three sheaves of Rye without any law or warrant for soe doinge :
Hadde a dept of nine shillings injuriously detained from him by Edmonde Nicholas whoe under ye pretens of 5s 4d that hee claimed of ye aforesd John Ellis towards ye repaireinge of ye steeplehouse keeps nine shillings that hee owed ye aforesd John Ellis for pasturinge of some younge bullocks
ƒfor refuseinge to pay 6d wch hee was rated towards ye repaireinge off yeSteeplehouse hadde taken from him by Edmonde Nicholas & John Richards one pewter platter worth 3s 8d
ƒfor refuseinge to pay 5s towards ye repaireinge of Sennyn steeplehouse had taken from him by Edmonde Nicholas & John Richards Churchwardens soe caled five pweter dishes, worth 16s :
As hee was travellinge upon ye high way one Thomas Treave ye elder of ye parish of Sennyn laide violent hands upon him & [beat] him with roaps & threw stones to him & spilt his bloude whereupon hee made knowne ye wronge hee had received to Michaell Ric[hards] & John Saundry constables butt coulde not gett them to punish ye shedder of bloude
ƒfor speakeinge to preist Hull parson of Burrion att ye lands end hadde beene beaten by ye preist butt that his wiffe helde him
In ye yeere 1659 Thomas Quarme whoe farmed ye tyth of Sennen of Joseph Hull preist gott an execution out of ye hundred court of Penwith against ye body of John Ellis & one ye 1 day of ye 5th mo: caused him to bee arrested by 4 baliffs whoe carried him to James Christophers house to prison heade bailiffe of ye aforesd hundred by whome hee was putt into a roome not above eleaven foot longe & about 7 foote broade with many other prisoners by reason of wch as alsoe for want of a place to ease themselves in, ye roome became very nasty & stinckeinge even to ye diseaseinge & infectinge of them all whereof one of them was like to have dÿed : yett ye wickednesse of ye aforesd Keeper appeared more towards John Ellis then any of ye rest of ye prisoners : whoe when his wiffe was come with provision to him hee would not suffer her to come in to him, nor soe much as ye doore to bee opned to lett in his meat ; yt was brought unto him by his wiffe : so ytt ye aforesd John Ellis was forct to take in his meat by litle & litle by peices in through a small hole yt was in ye doore : neither coulde hee have ye drinke yt was brought him, butt by powreinge of it out three or 4 times into smaler vessells before hee coulde get it transveyed into prison : neither woulde hee suffer ye sd Johns wiffe to dresse meate for him in his house although he was profered satisfaction for it : in wch place hee remained untill hee was sent for by order of ye committÿ of parlament :
Upon ye 26th day of ye 2d mo : in ye yeare 1660 ye sd John Ellis was againe sued in ye hundred Court of penwith by pasco Tresilian farmer of ye tyth from preist Hull & as hee was passinge through pensants townde hee was arrested by ye serjants of pensants & by one of them was violently throwne downe in ye street in ye mire : because ye sd John Ellis asked him by what law hee tooke him upp seeinge ye serjant had noe plainte against him untill after hee had soe abused him & then ye aforesd Serjeant searched him for arms even to his wastcoate & breeches & then had him to prison : wch arrest as hee understands is att ye suite of Thomas Quaram another farmer of ye tyth from preist Hull & is a reviveall of ye same old suite wth ye aforesd Tho : Quarme had against him in ye yeere 1659 & for wch hee suffered soe cruelly, whose suffringe then & ye manner of his inlargement in ye yeere 1659 may att large bee seene251 & for wch hee is now againe committed to prison & there continnued a prisoner
[Note: Charles II was proclaimed king on 8 May 1660 ending the parliamentary commonwealth. It will be seen that this made no difference to the treatment of the Quakers.]
On ye 1st day of ye 11th mo : 1660 : Nich : Jose of Senin p̱rish beeinge passinge through ye towne of Truroe in ye feare of ye Lorde to visitt his ƒfreinds was taken by a guarde of halberts & had before John Chatty Major & for refuseinge to take ye oath of Alleg : was kept a whole weeke in theire towne prison & then sent to Launceston gaole where hee remained about 5 months :
George Read and others
On ye 29th of ye 11 moth : 1660 severall freinds beeinge mett togeather to waite upon ye Lorde in ye p̱rish of Just neere ye lands end there came ye constable of ye p̱rish & tooke George John & Tobyas Reede & John Tonckyn of ye p̱rish of Sennyn & brought them to Truroe before Walter Vincent & John Vivian called Justices whoe com̃itted them to ye goale of Launceston for theire meetinge as aforesd where they remained prisoners about 7 or 8 weeks
John Matthew of ye parish of Sennyn about ye 8th mo : in ye yeere abovesd because for consciens sake hee coulde not beare arms in ye trained bond was sent to Launceston goale for 10 days by a mittimus35x from William Codolphin & Will : Pendarvis
Nicholas Jose and others
[an event which took place in the parish of Mabe]
In ye yeere 1661 Hugh Jones of ye Parish of Sennyn whoe had farmed ye tyth of Joseph Hull preist sued George Reade at law for tyth & tooke away from ye sd George Reade one fatt oxe worth about 4li. & one mare worth about 5li.
Nicholas Jose and others
On ye 27th of ye 5th month 1662 in ye p̱rish of Just were diverse ƒfreinds mett togeather to waite upon ye lorde & in ye time of ye meetinge one Captaine Jones with a company of souldyers came & tooke out of ye house Nich : Jose George Reade Will : Roberts Edward Auger John Reede John Mathew Sampson Jeffery Richard Hunt Degory Vingoe John Tonckyn & five Women ƒfreinds (viz) Johan Penwarden Mary Penwarthen Jane Wilkey Anne Trereeve421 & Blanch Bosistowe422 : & carried them before Will : Codolphin called Justice, whoe sent them to Launceston goale & beeinge brought before ye Judge att ye Assises : 4 of them (viz) Nich : Jose George Reade Will : Roberts & Ed : Auger were Indicted & fined 40s each of them & com̃itted till payment : & ye rest were com̃itted till they did finde suertys for ye good behaviour, whoe as yett remayne all prisoners & have not been called foorth since though they have beene three assises followeinge soe yt they have beene prisoners neere two yeere 431& then were freed without any thinge layde to theire charge except the 4 yt were ƒfined who rem[ained] priso[ners] ƒfive yeere & halfe431
[1664: The Conventicle Act was passed “for preventing mischiefs and dangers that may arise by certain persons called Quakers, and others refusing to take oaths.” The act declared it “altogether unlawful and contrary to the word of God” to refuse to take an oath, or to persuade another person to refuse to do so. It further made it an offense for more than five persons, “commonly called Quakers,” “to assemble in any place under pretense of joining in a religious worship not authorized by the laws of this realm.” In 1670, it was renewed with increased vigour—Thanks to Ron Clibborn-Dyer]
Taken from John Wallish by Rich : Warren & Martÿn Millarde Constles & Nowell Roberts & Mathew Humfrÿs wardens of ye parish off Just: whoe came ye 6th of ye 4th moth & yeere aforesd: & distrained by a warrant ƒfrom Hugh Jones Caled a Justice two milch Kowes two oxen & three heifers to ye value of 20li. for a fine of852 though Jo: Wallish was a prisoner att ye County goale att ye same time:
Taken ƒfrom Jane Wallish by ye officers aforesd ƒfor her beinge at ye meetinge aforesd one milch Kowe worth 3li. 4s ƒfor a fine of 5s imposed upon her:
The 16th off ye moth & yeere aforsd came Tho: Roberts & Tho: John Constls off ye parish of Levens & tooke away by a warrant ƒfrom Hugh Jones ƒfrom William Roberts off ye aforesd parish ƒfoure milch Kowes sixteene sheepe & two reareinge Calves ƒfor beinge att ye meetinge aforesd for wch hee was ƒfined value off 16li.
Taken away ƒfrom George Reede off ye parish off Sennen by John Mathew & Nich: Wallish Constals James Terreeve & Tho: Terreeve wardens by a warrant ƒfrom Hugh Jones ƒfor his permittinge ye meetinge aforesd to bee in his house & ƒfor beinge present att ye same 3 milch Kowes & one horse worth 12li.
Taken away by a warrant ƒfrom ye aforesd Justice by ye officers off ye parish of Sennen one brasse pan & one Chaire worth 1li. ƒfor a fine of 5s Imposed on his wiffe for beinge att ye sd meetinge Nich: Jose beinge a prisoner att Launceston goale att ye same time :
Taken away ƒfrom Tho: Richards by ye officers aforesd ƒfor his pretended beinge att ye meetinge aforesd one brasse pott worth 8s though Thos: Richards was att ye same time a prisoner at Launceston goale
Taken from Elizabeth Reskelly by ye officers aforesd ƒfor a fine of 5s Imposed by Hugh Jones for her beinge present att ye aforesd meetinge one Mare worth 1li. 4s
John Ellis and daughters
Taken from Jo: Ellis ƒfor a meetinge in his owne house ye 1st off ye 6th moth one Mare & Colt value 1li. 10s
Taken away by ye officers of Sennen parish ƒfrom Dorothy Ellis ye daughter of Jo: Ellis ƒfor beinge present att ye meetinge aforesd one Colt & one Rearinge Calve value 1li. 10s
Taken away by ye officers aforesd ƒfrom Elizabeth & Phillippa Ellis two other daughters off Jo: Ellis ƒfor there beinge present att ye meetinge in their ƒfathers house two reareinge Calves worth 1li. 8s
Upon ye 12th off ye 5th moth Came James Mellot John Okey overseers & Henery Davey warden with a warrant ƒfrom Tho: Hill Majr off Marazÿon Comonly Caled Markett Jew whoe upon receite off a Certificate ƒfrom Hugh Jones off John Taÿlors beinge present att ye meetinge att Landsend graunted foorth his warrant unto ye officers aforesd whoe tooke away ƒfrom Jo: Taylor 51 yards of Canvas worth 2li. for a fine of 5s Imposed upon him:
Memorandum yt Tho: Hill majr off Marazÿon some time after this distresse of goods ƒfrom Jo: Taylor was visited with sicknesse whereof hee dÿed: and a litle before his death sayde yt nothinge troubled him soe in all his life as his graunting foorth ye warrant to take away ye goods off John Taylor:
Memorandum yt ye aforesd Hugh Jones his Clarke was one of ye Informers agst ye meetinge aforesd & one yt accompanÿed ye officers & Incouraged ym to make such outragious distresses: & as it was Credibbely reported had some off ye spoile off ye Quakers goods given unto him In recompense for his paines or rather for his wages due ƒfrom his master:
12 “The West answering to the North, in the fierce and Cruel Persecution of the Manifestation of the Son of God, as appears in the following short Relation of the unheard of, and inhumane Sufferings of George Fox, Edward Pyot, and William Salt, at Launceston, in the County of Cornwall …” London, 1657.
13 That is, minister or clergyman
14 … 14 Insertion above the line at a later period by the same writer
32 That is, mayor
5x [It is suggested by the entry on p105 that farmer and impropriator are synonymous.]
91 Market Jew, now Marazion. See Camb. Jnl. Supp. i.e The Short Journal and Itinerary Journals of George Fox, printed from the original mss. by the Cambridge University Press, 1925.
251 See above.
421 Besse : Trerowe i.e. A Collection of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers from 1650 to 1689, compiled by Joseph Besse. London, 1753
422 Besse : Bristow
431 … 431 These words were added later in a different coloured ink by the same hand.
852 Amount omitted.